Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo also wants the law to be punitive enough to deter what he termed “political assassins” from freely defaming people
Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, a legal practitioner, has called for the passage of defamatory act into law to protect people’s reputation.
Speaking to Asaase News on the retraction and apology of MP for Asawase, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, on bribery claim against Supreme Court judges, Addo said introducing such a law will inject sanity and reduce the rate of defamation in the country.
“There are other punitive damages, you just don’t award the general damages, you go a step further and you add punitive damages, so that the person knows that for the malicious publication of matters that are intended to bring your reputation down in the eyes of right-thinking people, there are punitive consequences, that you will be paying two or three times,” he said.
Addo added: “Immediately you are losing your property because you just opened your mouth by heart. If it happened to you once, twice, thrice you will stop, so I think it is about time we had a defamatory act, it was in our books, I think it is about time we had it some time back and put some ranges based on reputation of people.”
The legal practitioner also wants some punitive measures introduced in the proposed act to serve as a deterrent to “political assassins” who engage in the practice of casting slur on people’s reputation.
“And also make room for those we think have the habit of deliberately denigrating the reputation of people as paid political assassins. When we attach their pay masters, I believe that at the end of the day we will go a long way to reform the status quo. Because if the damages are punitive enough, we will cure this particular mischief,” he added.
Muntaka begs supreme court judges
Muntaka has retracted a bribery allegation he made against a Supreme Court judge early January.
Mubarak alleged without evidence in a TV interview that a supreme court judge attempted to bribe a lawmaker to influence her vote during election of a Speaker of Parliament.
However, barely a month into making those claims, the opposition lawmaker has apologised “for the harm done to the image and reputation” of Supreme Court justices.
“Based upon good counsel, I have also decided to let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which, as I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague parliamentarian,” the minority chief whip said in a statement.